Writers Guide

As a new writer at Crowd Content, please read this entire guide carefully. It contains all the important procedures and rules for writing at Crowd Content.

Introduction and Current Pricing

Congratulations on being accepted to Crowd Content as a writer. This means you can now access freelance content writing jobs, start claiming orders and writing content for Crowd Content clients. Best of all, you’re going to get paid for every word you write!

Current Pricing

There are two different prices for each Quality Level at Crowd Content. There is a street rate and a bonus rate.

On the Crowd Content website, the rates are always displayed like this: STREET RATE | BONUS RATE.

As a new writer, you will be working at the street rate to start. However, you can move into the bonus rate if you focus on delivering quick turnaround times. (To learn more about the bonus rate, please read the Rules and Procedures for Writing at Crowd Content)

The current rates are below.

Custom Content Orders (pricing is per word):

  • 1 Star: 1.2 cents | 1.4 cents
  • 2 Star: 2.0 cents | 2.3 cents
  • 3 Star: 4.4 cents | 5.2 cents
  • 4 Star: 6.6 cents | 7.6 cents

Tweets (pricing is per unit):

  • Standard: $0.70 | $0.80
  • Professional: $1.05 | $1.20

Facebook Posts (pricing is per unit):

  • Standard: $1.05 | $1.20
  • Professional: $1.55 | $1.75

*DISCLAIMER: These rates can change from time to time. Please view the order details closely for every order you claim to ensure you understand the potential earnings for that order.

What Makes Crowd Content Awesome?

You’ll notice quickly that Crowd Content is a bit different than other writing companies out there. That’s because we’ve added some gamification into the mix.

What’s gamification, you ask? Currently, Wikipedia says:

Gamification is the use of game-thinking and game mechanics in a non-game context in order to engage users and solve problems. Gamification is used in applications and processes to improve user engagement, ROI, data quality, timeliness, and learning.

In other words, we’re tracking a few key performance metrics for every writer in our system. Writers who perform well are rewarded. Pretty simple, right?

When you sign in to your writer account, click on your profile image in the top right corner. This is where you can see your current performance levels at any time.

How Can I Perform Well and Get Rewarded?

The answer is simple: SATISFY CLIENTS!

Although Crowd Content is still a young company, we’ve seen our fair share of client orders come through our system. We’ve seen what makes clients happy and what makes them really mad.

Obviously, we want our clients to be happy so that they will stick around and place more content orders with us. This means more jobs and more money for you as a writer!

We found that the following 3 things make clients happy and influence them to place more content orders. We refer to these 3 things as the Crowd Content Core Values:

  1. High Quality Content
  2. Fast Turnaround Times
  3. Reliability

The Crowd Content Core Values

At Crowd Content, we’re trying to build a writing community that is obsessed with satisfying clients. Our goal is to establish a culture, and an environment, that is built on top of our 3 core values.

But, we can’t do it alone. As a Crowd Content writer, it’s your job to understand the core values and put them into practice. If every writer at Crowd Content “buys in” and adopts these core values as their own, we can satisfy clients and start to build a reputation as the best writing network on the Internet.

This, of course, will result in more content orders in the system and more earning opportunities for all Crowd Content writers!

In more detail, the Crowd Content Core Values are:

  1. Create High Quality Content – create content that follows the client’s instructions and that is interesting and powerful. Don’t settle for mediocrity. Your content should engage readers and keep them glued to the page!
  2. Deliver Fast Turnaround Times – do your best to complete all orders and revisions as fast as possible. However, NEVER sacrifice quality for speed.
  3. Be Extremely Reliable – if you claim an order, do your best to complete it on time. Don’t ever claim orders and then just let the deadlines expire without submitting content to the client. Also, respond to messages from clients promptly.

In reality, these three core values are really just good business sense. If we serve our clients with these core values in mind, we’ll have many happy clients and a lot of content orders to go around.

Rules and Procedures for Writing at Crowd Content

This section explains how to claim and complete content orders for clients (AKA, how to earn money).

It also lists a few rules that every writer needs to follow when writing at Crowd Content. The rules are simple, and they’re based on the Crowd Content Core Values that we covered in the last section.

The rules are designed to help writers follow through with the Crowd Content Core Values. In other words, the rules act as guidelines and motivators to help you satisfy clients.

A Simple 3 Strike System

As we mentioned, there are a few things that can really upset clients. When clients get upset, they usually don’t come back to Crowd Content, which means they don’t place any more content orders.

To avoid having these negative things occur to our clients, we’ve set up a simple 3 strike system for writers. The three-strike system works like this:

  • If you perform a violation, you receive a strike on your writer account and your claim limit is reduced.
  • If you complete 5 orders in a row without a strike, all strikes on your account are removed.
  • If, at any time, you reach 3 strikes, your writer account will be closed and you will not be able to sign in again.

Please noteThe Crowd Content team reserves the right to close writer accounts at anytime should writer behavior be deemed inappropriate.

What Is a Violation?

There are only three violations that can get you a strike. They are listed below. Please read them carefully and try to avoid them:

  1. Dropping an order after the 30 minute Drop Window
  2. Letting a deadline expire before submitting the completed content to the client
  3. Letting a revision deadline expire before submitting the revised content to the client

IMPORTANTPlease continue reading to learn more about the terms listed above.

How Do I Claim an Order?

To claim an order, sign in to your account. You may see some or all of the following tabs depending on what you have access to and what work is available:

  • My Work – This is where you can see work that you have in progress, has been submitted or has been recently accepted
  • Marketplace – When you claim open orders in the Marketplace, you’ll work directly with the client
  • Managed Content – When you claim open orders in the Managed Content queue, you’ll work Project Managers on high-volume Enterprise projects
  • Apply for Work – This area lets you see what job applications are currently open

Remember, you may not be able to see all orders in the system. Your access to orders depends on a few factors, an important one being your Quality Level.

When viewing open orders, you can see some high level information about each order. You can see the title of the order, its category, the Quality Level it was placed at, and your maximum potential earnings if you write the order.

Colorful icons also show you the Language, Content Type, and the Order Type of each order. Hover your mouse on any icon to see more information about what that icon means.

To see full details of any order, just click on the title. This will show you the order details and the instructions from the client.

Before you claim any order, always read the instructions carefully. You want to be sure that you have the skill and knowledge required to write that particular order. If you don’t, you may want to leave it for another writer.

If you do decide it’s an order you’d like to write, click the Claim button. You’ll then see a message that explains the implications of claiming an order (see next section) and asks you to confirm.

After you confirm, we assign the order to you and you are now responsible for completing the order before the deadline expires.

What Is My Claim Limit?

Your Claim Limit tells you how many orders you can have “In Progress” at one time. This number will increase as you complete orders and avoid strikes.

The current Claim Limit schedule is as follows:

  • New Writers: 1 order
  • Complete 5 consecutive orders without a strike: 3 orders
  • Complete 10 consecutive orders without a strike: 4 orders
  • Complete 15 consecutive orders without a strike: 5 orders

Remember, this only applies to your “In Progress” orders. “Submitted” orders do not count towards your Claim Limit.

What Are Deadlines?

Every order at Crowd Content has a deadline attached to it. The deadline will be a certain number of days (ex, 1 day or 2 days).

These deadlines are standardized across the system and are based on the word count of the order (higher word counts equal longer deadlines). Clients can extend deadlines if they wish at the time of placing the order, but they cannot reduce deadlines lower than the minimum the system has set.

When you claim an order, you are responsible for completing the order before the deadline expires.

To help you keep tabs on the time, we’ve added a countdown to the top left area of the content editor. This way, you can always see how much time you have left when working on an order.

What Happens if I Miss a Deadline?

We take deadlines very seriously at Crowd Content. We take them seriously because missing a deadline means violating one of the Crowd Content Core Values. You know, the one that says Be Reliable.

If the deadline on a claimed order expires before you have submitted the completed content to the client, you’ll receive a strike on your writer account. If the order is an open or team order, it will be reassigned to other writers.

What Is the Drop Window?

If, after claiming an order, you decide you can’t complete it, you have the option to Drop the order. When you do this, the order is put back into the open pool for other qualified writers.

Be careful when dropping orders. From the second you claim an order, you have a 30 minute window where you can drop the order and not be penalized. This is called the Drop Window. If you drop the order after the 30 minute Drop Window, you’ll receive a strike on your writer account.

What Is the Revision Deadline?

Every now and then, a client will request that you make a revision to a piece of content you’ve submitted. When this happens, we will notify you by email and add a notification to your account (look to the top right area of your writer account).

You can see the client’s revision request in the left instruction pane and in the messaging system.

From the time the revision request is submitted by the client, you have 24 hours to complete the revision and submit the content to the client.

If you let the 24 hour revision deadline expire before you submit the completed content, you’ll receive a strike on your writer account. If the order is an open or team order, it will be reassigned to other writers.

How Do Quality Levels Work?

Upon being accepted to Crowd Content as a writer, we assign you an initial Quality Level based on the sample content you created during the application process.

Currently, we have 4 Quality Levels. The Quality Levels are represented by stars with 1 Star being the lowest and 4 Star being the highest.

The pricing and potential earnings are higher for orders placed at higher Quality Levels. See the pricing section at the start of this document for current rates.

You can claim orders at or below your Quality Level, but you do not have access to orders above your Quality Level.

For example, a writer at the 3 Star level can claim orders that were placed at the 1 Star, 2 Star, or 3 Star levels. This writer cannot claim orders that were placed at the 4 Star level.

How Can I Move Up or Down the Quality Levels?

Your Quality Level is determined by your recent performance at Crowd Content. Your performance is indicated by the ratings clients have given you for recent jobs you have completed.

The client can choose from the ratings below:

  • Exceeded Expectations (5) – Writer exceeded the client’s expectations for the Quality Level of the order.
  • Excellent (4) – Writer met the client’s expectations perfectly for the Quality Level of the order.
  • Good (3) – Writer met most of the client’s expectations for the Quality Level of the order.
  • Acceptable (2) – Writer barely met any of the client’s expectations for the Quality Level of the order.
  • Poor (1) – Writer performed far below the client’s expectations for the Quality Level of the order.

For your Quality Level to change, you need to complete at least 2,500 words of rated content for at least 3 clients while at your existing Quality Level.

PLEASE NOTE we cannot manually adjust your quality level. Your quality level is determined by a rating algorithm that takes into account recent ratings and word count.

A high average rating will move your account up to the next Quality Level while a low average rating will move your account down to the previous Quality Level.

If your average rating does not meet either threshold, your account will remain at your current Quality Level.

*If you currently a 3 star writer who has met the above requirements to move up to 4 star, your account is thoroughly reviewed to determine whether or not you are eligible to be moved up to 4 star.

What Is My TAT?

TAT stands for turnaround time. Your TAT is the time it takes you to complete an order from the time you claim it.

For example, if you claim an order and then submit it to the client 3 hours later, your TAT was 3 hours.

Your TAT is calculated after every completed order and displayed in Words per Hour (WPH). For example, if you claim an order and then submit it to the client 3 hours later, and your word count is 300, your TAT on the order is 100 WPH (300 words / 3 hours = 100 WPH).

What Is the TAT Bonus?

At Crowd Content, if you work quickly and maintain a good TAT, we’ll pay you extra money when completing orders. Now that sounds like a deal!

Here’s how it works:

We keep track of your average TAT over your last 5 orders. This number is displayed in your profile.

If your average TAT is the same as or faster than the Target TAT, your account enters the bonus and we increase the earnings per word on your account.

For example, if your average TAT on your last 5 completed orders is 150 WPH, and the Target TAT is 100 WPH, your account would enter the bonus. This means that on your next order, you will earn the Bonus Rate. Your account will remain in the bonus until your average TAT becomes slower than the Target TAT of 100 WPH.

The Target TAT is determined by Crowd Content and is the same for all writers. The Target TAT can and will change as we optimize it going forward.

Why Is there a Rabbit Icon at the Top of My Screen?

When your account enters the TAT Bonus, the rabbit icon will turn white. This is an easy way for you to know if your account is in the TAT Bonus or not.

You can also view the current Target TAT at any time by hovering over the rabbit icon.

What Happens if a Client Rejects My Content?

We ask clients to request at least one revision before rejecting an order. Having said that, if a client is adamant that the first draft does not fit their style or tone requirements, we may ask the writer to drop the order — this is to avoid forcing the writer to put time and effort into a revision that will most likely not be accepted. All rejections are reviewed by admin and are only approved if we feel that (1) the writer did not follow the client’s instructions or (2) the content quality was well below expectations at the Quality Level the order was placed at.

If a rejection is approved, the client is refunded and your account will not be paid for the order. If the rejection is not approved, the client will be charged and your account will be paid for the order.

What Are Direct Orders?

When placing an order, clients have the ability to request writers they have worked with in the past. This is known as a Direct Order.

If you receive a Direct Order, we’ll send you an email notification about it. Your Direct Orders will always show at the top of your Available list with a blue “D” icon beside them, regardless of any filters you have applied.

NOTE: Turnaround times on Direct Orders do not count towards your average WPH on your account.

How and When Do I Get Paid?

We make all payments through PayPal. You added your PayPal email address to your account during the sign up process. If you need to change this, you can do so by going to My Account > PayPal Account.

All payments are made every Tuesday and Friday to your PayPal account. The pay period cut off is at 11:00 PM EST the night before. This means that when you are paid on Friday, you are only paid for orders that were completed and accepted by the client before Thursday at 11:00 PM EST. Payments for any orders accepted after Thursday at 11:00 PM EST will be made on the next payday.

If your balance is less than $10, your payment will not be made, but your balance will be carried over until your account reaches $10 or higher. Once you reach the $10 threshold, you will be paid your full balance at the next payday.

All amounts are in USD.

Do We Scan All Content for Plagiarism with Copyscape?

Yes. Every piece of content submitted through Crowd Content is scanned for plagiarism by Copyscape. If you don’t know how Copyscape works, it scans your text and then searches the Internet for other copies of that text.

If it finds exact matches, it will flag the content and show you what it found on the Submitted order view. If we deem that some of your content has been plagiarised, you will see an error message and the content will not be submitted to the client. You will be required to go back to the order and edit it to remove the copied content. You will then be able to submit the content provided that Copyscape does not detect any more duplicate content.

Just for Fun, Pride, and Respect!

At Crowd Content, we’re also tracking a few things that don’t affect your pay or your account status in any official way. These metrics and scores are designed to encourage some friendly competition amongst writers. They also offer a way for you to challenge yourself and watch your Crowd Content career grow.

Career Words

We’re tracking every single word you write at Crowd Content and adding it to your Career Words total. You can see this total on your account profile.

Experience Levels

As your number of Career Words rises, you will advance through the Experience Levels at Crowd Content.

You can see your current Experience Level on your account profile to the right of your Career Words. We have also included a progress bar to show you how close you are to reaching the next Experience Level.

These levels don’t offer you any monetary value at the moment, but we may decide to reward writers based on their Experience Levels in some form in the future.

For now, look at your Experience Level as a badge of pride on your account. It shows your level of dedication and acts as a symbol of your accomplishments as a writer.

Tips and Best Practices for Success

A big part to succeeding at Crowd Content is consistently doing the little things right. This is what separates average writers from great writers!

Below, we’ve listed several key tips and best practices that, when implemented, can ensure that you satisfy clients over and over again. These tips represent the common traits that make a successful writer at Crowd Content.

Read and Follow the Writer Resources

In the Writer Resources section, you can find tips for writing specific content types that your clients will request from you. We’ll be adding more resources in the future, but, currently, we have the following:

These resources act as guides for writing each content type. They also include a wealth of links to external resources from reputable sources on the Web.

We recommend that you read and understand each resource, but also that you visit the external sources to learn more about effectively writing each content type.

Format Your Content to Be Visually Appealing

In other words, make your content look good! Even if you write the most interesting article ever, clients can be put off by lousy formatting.

Always insert headers and sub headers properly by using the dropdown menu that says “Paragraph” in it. You can find this tool in the editor when creating your content.

Always use proper and consistent spacing throughout your document. Don’t add extra line breaks where you don’t need them. Keep it tidy!

Always use bulleted and numbered lists properly by using the tools in the editor.

Be Polite, Responsive, and Professional to Clients

We provide a messaging system that allows clients and writers to discuss specific orders. When interacting with a client through the messaging system, follow these guidelines to increase your chances of receiving high ratings from the client:

  • Be polite. Clients are your customers and, as they say, the customer is always right. Treat them kindly and they will want to keep working with you. If, on the rare occasion, a client is getting on your nerves, feel free to “kill them with kindness”. In other words, never lose your composure and simply understand that dealing with annoying clients every now and then is part of the job!
  • Be responsive. Clients get really happy when they hear back from you quickly after they ask you a question. Don’t leave clients in the dark. Answer their questions quickly and be on the ball.
  • Be professional. We’re a professional writing network. Don’t forget about that when typing messages to clients. Always use correct punctuation and grammar when using the messaging system. This reminds clients of how skilled our writers are and helps create an overall perception that Crowd Content is a high quality writing service.

Only Claim Orders You Can Start Working on Immediately

To deliver a quick turnaround time on an order, you need to start working on it shortly after you claim it. Try not to claim orders before bed and then start working on them the next day. This “locks up” the order and does not allow other writers to claim it, creating an unneeded delay for the client.

If you don’t have time to start on the order right away, just leave it on the available list for another writer who can start working on it immediately. You can always come back later when you have more time and claim the order if it’s still available.

Always Run the Spell Checker!

This is a bit of a no brainer, but don’t ever submit content to a client without running the spell check tool. You can find this tool in the editor.

TIP: You can toggle the spell check tool between US English and UK, AU, CA English. This is handy when clients request localized spelling in their instructions.

Give Your Profile Picture Some Love

In section 4.2 we talked about making your content visually appealing. We recommend this because, like it or not, looks always affect how people perceive things. That’s just how humans operate.

Knowing this, we should also pay attention to our profile pictures and make them look as attractive and professional as possible. We’re not saying you need to Photoshop your image or be a supermodel, but do your best to post an image that puts you in the best light possible and instills confidence in your clients.

TIP: Remember, you can upload an image and then crop it using the image editor. To do this, go to My Account > Change Picture > Edit Photo.

Suggest Alternate Titles When Appropriate

Sometimes, you’ll notice that the title of the order from the client is vague or only descriptive of the content they needed. For example, “New Blog Post about Content Marketing”.

In such cases, you will always want to create a new title for the content you write. You may also want to suggest an alternate title if the client’s title seems average to you. You can create a new title for any order by simply typing in the title bar of the editor.

TIP: Don’t take title creation lightly! Titles are extremely important and have a big effect on whether or not an article even gets looked at. Check the “Create Powerful Titles” section of the 12 Tips for Writing Perfect Blog Posts article in the Writer Resources to study best practices for title creation.

Updated on February 12, 2020

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